1. Only one of your titles, “An Affair to Remember”, has been translated into Dutch – it is published under the title “De Gouvernante”. Any reason for this? Why are not more of your titles available in Dutch?

When publishers from other countries buy the rights for books, they often rename them because phrases and words sometimes don’t translate well or might be too similar to another book that is already published in that country. I do know that ‘De Gouvernante” did very well in the Netherlands, but haven’t heard if they’re going to buy the rights to any more of my books yet. I hope so – I really loved the cover of that book and it is one of my favorites! So far, my books have been translated into Dutch, Danish, Polish, and German and it’s a fairly common practice to change the title.

2. How long have you been writing?

Since 1996. I was working on my PhD in political science and a little bored and one day, my best friend and I decided that for fun, we’d write our own books. And so we did!

3. Was it difficult to have your first book published?

I sold my first book in 1998. I have a rejection file that is pretty impressive, but – considering the average time to get published in romance for published authors is around six years – I did pretty well indeed!

4. Can you deal with criticism?

Absolutely! I welcome the opportunity to get better and it takes hearing something other than “I loved it!” I always read negative critiques and see if perhaps there might be something I can glean from them that will make me a better writer. And frequently there is. However, the truth is that a review, good OR bad, is just one person’s opinion. You can’t get too caught up in that stuff. I just write what I like to read – funny, poignant, strong heroines, charming and honorable heroes, funny secondary characters – and that’s it!

5. Are the St. John men your type? Which of them has your preference? And why?

I would love to have ANY of the St. John men, although I have a special weakness for Marcus. Since the first time I wrote him, I loved him. He is honorable and just and inherently kind, but powerful. I dig that in a man.

6. Herberts, the butler in “Confessions of a Scoundrel”, is so funny! Where do you get the inspiration for such characters?

I LOVE wacky characters! They provide a nice balance fro the not-so-wacky ones. For example, I knew Verena and Brandon in “Confessions of a Scoundrel” would have a rather intense relationship and so I needed something or someone in the story to lighten things up a bit. I decided that poor Verena, who is by no means financially well off, might have scrimped a bit on her hired help. And perhaps she’d actually gotten one of Julia’s displaced servants from the service that Julia began in my first book, “The Abduction of Julia”. And perhaps the man Verena hired had a great heart, but had a few little problems… like a tendency toward kleptomania and not knowing how to stay in the background. The next thing you know, there is Herberts!

BTW, Herberts shows up as the coachman in “Lady in Red”, which is Marcus’s story coming out March 29th. He was just so much fun that I had to put him in there. Plus, he was a great foil for Marcus’s over-starchy character.

7. On your site, you tell us that you are planning other series. Would you like to tell us something about them?

My “Just Ask Reeves” Series is next. The first two will be coming out the first few months of 20065 – it’s about an aging, dashing earl who is dying and he’s had no legitimate heirs so he sends his VERY sarcastic and proper valet out into the world to find his illegitimate children and “bring them up to snuff”. The first is an uber-masculine sea captain, the second a dashing highwayman, etc.etc.etc. It’s loads of fun and my editor loves the first book. She’ll have the second one on her desk in a few weeks’ time and I hope she finds it amusing, too.

8. You also mention that you wrote a book under another pseudonym. Would you care to reveal the secret? Lots of people hunt for second-hand books, and perhaps they might come across it!

Nope! That’s myyyyyy secret. Although one day, if I’m bored, I might post it on my website just for fun! It’s out of print now, anyway, and has been for years.

9. Do you have a word of advice for beginning authors?

Read, read, read! Never stop. And write that what you love and love the market. NEVER write something you’re not comfortable with and NEVER turn away the opportunity to meld some aspect of the market with what you love to write.

10. What books do you read yourself? Any favorite authors?

SOOOO MANY! Christina Dodd, Connie Brockway, Suzanne Enoch, Betina Krahn, Pamela Britton and my all time favorite – Georgette Heyer. For contemporaries Rachel Gibson, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Janet Evanovich, and Mary Kay Andrews. And these are just a few. I read about four books a months when I’m writing and eight to ten when I’m not, so there are TONS more!

 

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© 2005 Nickie Fleming/Jansan